St. Elizabeth has earned the top seed in the 2019 DIAA girls basketball tournament, and three other Catholic high schools are in the 24-team field. The tournament gets underway Wednesday night at eight first-round sites.
The Vikings finished the regular season with a record of 17-3, and with their strength of schedule, it was enough for the No. 1 seed. St. Elizabeth, as one of the top eight seeds, has a first-round bye and will take on the winner of the Ursuline-Delmarva Christian game. The Raiders are the 17th seed and will meet the No. 16 Royals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Georgetown.
Ursuline finished with an 8-10 record; the Raiders’ opponents provided enough bonus points to get them into the field. They will meet a Delmarva Christian team that went 15-5 and won the ESIAC tournament.
The sixth seed in the tournament is St. Thomas More, which also earned a first-round bye. The Ravens, led by Aniah Patterson and Jessica Simmons, finished with a record of 16-4, with three of those losses coming to the top three seeds in the state tournament. The Ravens await the winner of Newark Charter vs. Howard; they will host a second-round matchup on March 1 at 7 p.m. in Magnolia.
The other Catholic school to make the girls’ field is Archmere. The Auks nabbed the 18th seed and will make the short trip down Philadelphia Pike to Mount Pleasant, the 15th seed. The Auks and Green Knights met on Jan. 5, with Archmere taking a 51-40 victory. The winner of the game will travel to Sanford on March 1.
The quarterfinal round will be held March 3, with two games each at Dover High School and St. Mark’s. The times will be determined. The semifinals are March 6 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, and the final is March 8, also at the Bob.
Three Catholic schools are also in the boys’ field, beginning with the defending champions, St. Elizabeth. The Vikings rebounded from a 8-9 record to win their final three games of the season, and they earned a first-round bye.
They will meet the winner of Middletown-St. Mark’s on Feb. 28 at the St. E Center. The Spartans went 15-5 and earned the No. 10 spot. They meet the 23rd-seeded Cavaliers from the Blue Hen Conference Flight A. St. Mark’s split two games with St. Elizabeth this season, winning by a 60-53 score on Jan. 10, then dropping a 41-38 decision on Feb. 5.
Salesianum picked up the eighth seed. The Sals finished 11-9, and, despite losing four in a row late in the year, rode their strength of schedule to a first-round bye. They will be home on Feb. 28 against the winner of Sussex Tech-Milford. Sussex Tech, the 24th seed, defeated the Sals in the final week of the regular season.
The boys’ quarterfinal round will be March 2 at sites and times to be announced. The semifinal and final will take place at the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware on March 7 and 9, respectively. Tickets to the Bob will be available at www.statechamps.com.